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Aguirre spars with Goldsmith in KPBS City Attorney Debate

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

City attorney Mike Aguirre sparred with his challenger Jan Goldsmith at a debate moderated by KPBS’s Gloria Penner. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Aguirre made his battle to roll back city employee pension benefits a central issue in the debate, in spite of the fact that his litigation has been unsuccessful so far. 

 

Goldsmith says he believes the pension case has already been decided and he would not pursue an appeal.

 

But Aguirre  persistently accused Goldsmith of pandering to the city’s labor unions.

 

Aguirre: You’ re taking a position against the city and saying that our appeal should be dismissed but you’re doing that to gain political endorsements by the firefighters, by the POA and the other unions that are going to benefit from it, that’s the reality, Gloria.

 

Penner: We have been through this.

 

Aguirre: This is the center of the whole campaign.

 

Goldsmith: I have seen poor lawyers and I can recognise it and the city has been getting very poor lawyering and that's one of the reasons I am running 

 

Aguirre:  Just happens to benefit you too  

 

Goldsmith:  You keep losing pension cases. You haven’t won any of your political cases and the city is paying millions of dollars for it .

 

Aguirre: That’s false and untrue .

 

Penner: I’m going on… ok. Phew !

 

Aguirre,  who is hoping to build on his support from democrats, accused Goldsmith of being the chosen candidate of the republican Lincoln Club. But Goldsmith has been  collecting endorsements from leading democrats, including City Council President Scott Peters and former U.S Attorney and School Superintendent, Alan Bersin.

 

Alison St John, KPBS news.

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